122- Dr. Beau Hightower- The UFC’s Top Doc on Avoiding Injury


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Joining us today is Dr. Beau Hightower, the Director of Sports Medicine for Jackson/Wink MMA. Dr. Hightower is known for keeping Jackson/Wink’s fighters in amazing health, they haven’t had a preventable injury drop out in his 3 years there. Ben and Beau dive into best practices to prevent injury, Dr. Hightower’s unique approach to treat injuries and how he deduces what modality he should use for individual ailments.

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You should avoid stretching pre training. Instead use light foam rolling of contributing muscles. Dynamic warmup with light weights before lifting heavy.

The evolutionary reason why certain muscles seem to always be tight.

How Dr. Hightower keeps his athletes healthy and ready to fight.

Time Stamp

5:30- Mitigating overuse injuries- Assessing contractile ability through AROM is key, from there Dr. Hightower recommends soft tissue work on the muscles around the group you are training.

7:30- How to start overcoming (tendon) injuries. Is stretching, myofascial release and foam rolling working? You should avoid stretching pre training. Instead use light foam rolling of contributing muscles (shoulder example- long head of tricep, lat, chest) Dynamic warmup with light weights before lifting heavy.

17:00- Finding the right treatment to the right goal. Foam rolling delays DOMS, temporary increased muscle elasticity, stretching will improve ROM but whether that is good or bad is goal dependent, myofascial release can help with tightness but will require extended recovery

20:50- Wired for flexion, the reason most people have tight flexor muscles.

23:30- How to balance the trade offs between increasing range of motion and maintaining the integrity of your joints. Why Dr. Hightower avoids soft tissue work with his athletes prior to competition.

30:00- Dr. Hightower’s technique for increasing hip mobility with a lacrosse ball.

33:15- Why you SHOULDN’t work on the muscles you are getting ready to work.

34:45- Why doctors should have a larger area of study to properly treat injuries. The plague of health practitioners who only view injuries through their profession’s lens.

36:30- How to find the right doc and why people are so opinionated these days.

42:15- Protocol vs unique treatment. Why Dr. Hightower believes that we need deductive reasoning and trial and error in medicine, not just an algorithm.

43:30- The thought process behind diagnosing an injury. His approach to acute injury vs chronic.

47:00- The common injuries Beau sees in the UFC. Only 3 injury pullouts in 3 years. Lots of neck injuries and shoulder injuries from . Beau is great at keeping fighters healthy enough that they can often avoid surgery and continue to fight.

50:30- Are Beau’s patients doing strength and hypertrophy training? He works with their strength and conditioning coaches to decrease their weaknesses and increase their strengths. Mostly stability and explosive work such as olympic lifting.

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